Customize your master’s degree based on your interests and career goals.
Connect with Your Advisor
Your personal enrollment advisor is ready to help you navigate the application process, understand admission requirements, customize your program (see options below) to meet your career goals, explore options for financing your education, and connect with current students, alumni, career advisors, and faculty. Connect with your enrollment advisor.
The MPA curriculum is based on distinct learning goals that provide students with an in-depth knowledge of implementing development policy and systems in a variety of contexts.
Bridging cultural and linguistic barriers is key to a successful career in international policy, so you will take several content-based courses in your chosen language and/or courses in intercultural competence (ICC).
If you plan to work with, or in, a region where English is not the primary language of communication, you will want to develop your language skills at the Institute. In your language classes, you will have the opportunity to develop specialized vocabulary and content knowledge for your field of interest, give presentations, and improve your professional writing skills.
If English will be your primary language of communication, you may wish to focus on intercultural competence courses—and you can still take language studies if your schedule allows. ICC courses give you the opportunity to learn about managing global and cross-cultural teams, addressing issues of power and identity, and improving communications and outcomes.
If you are not sure, we encourage you to plan on taking both, and we will work with you to align your courses with your evolving career goals.
You may pursue an optional career-oriented specialization:
- Conflict Resolution and Social Justice
- Evaluation and Analytics
- Migration and Global Governance
- Financial Crime Management
- Intercultural Competence
- Language Studies for Professional Purposes
Put theory into practice through a professional practicum in the field or a related research course:
Development Practice and Policy
Our MPA and MA in International Policy and Development degrees are related programs that reflect real-world collaboration between development policy and implementation. You’ll have the flexibility to actively explore both degree areas in your first year—at the start of your third semester, you can finalize which degree you will complete.
“Sprintensive” is an optional pedagogical approach that is all about hands-on learning. It is relationship-rich and feedback-rich and involves a great deal of peer-to-peer and faculty-student interaction. Students take one class at a time, four hours a day, five days a week, covering an entire semester’s worth of material in just three weeks. The process is repeated three more times, so by the end of the semester students complete a full academic load, one class at a time. Focusing on a single subject offers many advantages. In addition to reducing the distractions and competing priorities of a standard schedule, the intensive schedule ensures that the student cohort develops deep and lasting bonds that translate into a vibrant professional support network.
Students with a relevant master’s degree (with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale) may be eligible for the accelerated entry option, allowing you to complete your degree in three full-time semesters.
Students with relevant professional experience (at least seven years) and a relevant master’s degree (with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale) may be eligible for an advanced entry option, allowing you to complete your degree in two full-time semesters.
Please indicate that you would like to be considered for accelerated or advanced entry on your online application.
If you have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree but you have completed the equivalent of two years of college, you can earn a Joint Bachelor of Arts in International Policy/Master of Public Administration in just three years.
Joint Master’s Degrees
The Joint MPA/MA in International Education Management is a five-semester, 70-credit program and offers a multidisciplinary approach to education as a tool for development.
The Joint MPA/Master of Arts in International Trade and Economic Diplomacy is a five-semester, 76-credit program and offers a multidisciplinary approach to trade and management agendas to achieve breakthroughs on both fronts.
Peace Corps Connections
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) are encouraged to apply for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, earning yourself a guaranteed scholarship.
You can integrate Peace Corps service into your degree through our Options for Peace Corps Service, earning yourself a 50 percent tuition scholarship for your final semester.
Career Development: Internships, Fellowships, Immersive Learning
Our graduates work with some of the most prestigious organizations around the world. Learn how they are thriving in their careers.
Tuition and Fees
Visit our tuition and fees page for detailed information.